Isn’t it Queer: The Less Than Peachy Politics of Pronouns (Obnoxious Alliteration Necessary)

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Hedwig's Concerned
Hedwig’s Concerned

Disclaimer: This piece uses a veritable shit ton of “queer-speak” or words used by activists in the queer, trans and genderqueer communities. Note, I am not apologizing but I am excitedly inviting individuals who have yet to read an article of this nature, to embrace the new vocabulary. Please take into account that all of the words developed by queer activists were made with the intention of validating people’s identities, uniting communities and helping individuals to grow and feel safe being themselves. My critique of the use of this new generation of words, is to stimulate conversation and encourage inclusivity and sensitivity. Also, if you have any questions about terms such as genderfluid, trans, or cis, I would like to kindly direct you to google. Enjoy!

Google

I heard by a sour word of mouth recently that there are folks in the LGBTQ-ABCD’s positive community that are less than positive in regards to genderqueer folks choice of pronouns. I was made aware of multiple genderqueer individuals that believe that in order to use they/them pronouns, one has to be androgynous (and also that masculine folks should use he/him and feminine she/her). That sounds to me like a rule made up by cis people. Just sayin. Why so derisive? Why so exclusionary? Why, and according to whom, don’t individuals get to pick their own pronouns? The dude does not abide. It’s another example of people, within their own communities, bullying each other because of their own projected discomfort with people refusing to conform to gender binaries. It’s problematic and does not foster progress toward a dynamic understanding of the gender spectrum.

I also want to acknowledge the more talked about tension between non-binary folks and transmen/transwomen regarding identification presentation. There are ways in which the philosophy of genderlessness, agender, genderfluidity etc. have been interpreted as being threatening to people who identify as transmen or transwomen. They/them pronouns are sometimes seen as threatening or invalidating to his/her already persecuted and marginalized identity. On the other hand, individuals under the non-binary and/or genderqueer umbrella also find it frustrating to be accused of being not “trans” enough because they did not choose to transition from their assigned sex and conditioned gender to “the opposite one”. This is a gender-binary enforcing concept at best, and especially harmful when so many genderqueer individuals struggle with their own transitions. There are challenging emotional aspects of accepting your place on the gender spectrum as well as whether or not you would like to pursue physical transition procedures, such as hormone therapy or surgery.

To summarize for our readers that are less fluent in queer-speak, there will always be debate about fitting into the community “enough.”

Oh, the age old question of enough. “Have they struggled “enough” to be part of our community?” For instance, “are bi-sexuals gay enough?”, “Do non-binary people count as trans?”, “Do you count as a “real” insert race if you are mixed race?”. You can see how well lubricated that downward slope becomes.These questions are often asked by members of marginalized communities in a pattern that mimics patriarchal, white, cis-male tendencies to constantly invalidate the power of one’s peers in order to protect one’s community from further persecution . These questions of “enough” are exclusionary and derisive. Ironically they use a vocabulary (cis, trans, non-binary…) initially intended to offer validation to previously unrecognized alternative identities. The idea that any one individual has to prove their pronoun, experience of culture or race, sexual orientation, or any other major facet of one’s identity, that really should defined by the unique experience of the individual, is ludicrous. An individual’s experience of gender is an absolutely unique facet of their personality and they should be allowed to pick what identifiers suit them. Not to say white people should be allowed to pick their race, that’s not how it works Rachel Dolezal. That’s just appropriation.

This is also Ludacris.
This is also Ludacris.

I bring the fruit cocktail, vocabulary of queer politics to the attention of the reader less because I’m invested in people “getting it right”, and more to encourage people to remember why we are hacking the most colonial language in human history, in the first place. In my humble gay motherfucking opinion, language simultaneously defines and limits our existence. Which gives us the incredible opportunity to create communities that have space within them for everybody on the gender spectrum, by editing and improving the language we were taught. Yes everyone. Cis-gendered female femmes who dream of barbies for days, transmasculine fairies who are only butch on fridays and ain’t nobody can tell what they were assigned at birth, and transwomen who like forest green doc martins and a matching mohawk. Everyone at EVERY point on the gender spectrum should be welcome to identify as they please, and naturally, a good ally for this community would then be defined as someone who can hold space for people without questions of whether they are “enough”.

{Image Credit: (https://www.etsy.com/listing/126430117/respect-gender-pronouns-lgbtq)}
{Image Credit: ETSY Listing}

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

———–

Cory is a poet and sex worker in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

 

 

Isn’t It Queer: Deconstruction to Construction

Banner{Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

{Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

Today I’m wet. With optimism, you perv, calm down. This time it’s because of a big-gooey-re-constructionist-wet-dream. I have decided to re-write all of the scripts in my life, and by scripts I mean ideas or constructs of what a person’s role in your life should be, or a way in which “one should handle” a life event. I am doing this with the intention of custom building my community. Why shouldn’t I build my own ideals for who I should surround myself with, what I should spend my time doing, and what my life will look like? Who else here is done with the painfully tepid bullshit of radio-love-song-advice? Yeah, I thought so. In communities of deconstructionist activism- where we dismantle definitions in order to live vibrantly in gender and race non-conformity, it’s important to remember that after deconstruction comes construction, lest we live in the sparkly gay ashes of our accomplishment. We have to fill in the gaps left by our own deconstruction. To build our lives in a way that supports us–whether we are people of color, trans/non-binary, LGBTQ, or non-monogamous–defining love, connection, support, acceptance and relationships for ourselves is the key to building healthy communities.

{Image Credit: {Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}
{Image Credit: {Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who told me (privilege acknowledged) that the love songs on the radio were bullshit. There is no man at the end of the tunnel who will complete you, and dressing in a schoolgirl skirt and doing a choreographed dance does not make you more loveable (thank you Brittney for teaching us all such valuable lessons in dating). My mother and my abundance of sarcasm aside, her lesson incited a constant search for meaning and substance in relationships. It also provoked me asking inflammatory questions of my monogamous partners on a consistent basis. Why do we insist on exclusively dating each other and what purpose does that serve? What are you are providing me in this relationship and what are you getting from this? Why do some lovers insist friends are more important than partners (yes friends, I’m referring to the sacred laws of “bro’s before ho’s” and other such misogynist gems) and others claim partners always take priority over friends? The more I asked these questions, the more I began to deconstruct the idea that love (intimate) relationships needed to be the only source of love, support, and inspiration in a person’s life. Once demolished, I was stuck in love limbo….so what should love look like?

{Image Credit: http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2007/04/barbie-confessions.html }
{Image Credit: http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2007/04/barbie-confessions.html }

 

Too often, our politics of deconstruction leave us in the existential funk of “what now?”. After institutions are questioned and constructs are debunked, it is not always clear what steps to take in order to build healthy community for ourselves. I always encourage the people in my life to set limits about what they don’t want (i.e. flakey lovers or shit talking friends) but more importantly, to ALWAYS state what they are looking for. Essentially, what my particularly preachy revelation has brought me to, is the idea that we need to put into the universe (or our okcupid profile, or conversations with parents, or our search for friends) what it is we are actually looking for.

 

I am so unbelievably lucky I can hardly contain my wetness (emotionally). In re-writing my scripts, I opened myself to a new definition of friendship and I fell in love with my best friends. We are non-sexual but 100% romantic. They are the people who support me by listening (which is huge for me, given my ongoing emotional battle with feeling invisible), I trust them to be true to their word, to follow through.  They are the people who inspire me, hold me accountable, house me when I am in a hard place, and love me for the person I am (in all my beautiful chaos).

 

These attributes and forms of support are generally what people look for in lovers, and by all means, look for that in lovers! But when it really comes down to it, when you are only open to the script of your lover being your sole predominant support system, you shut down the possibility for a gorgeous romantic endeavor with your friends. And Goddamn it! You can be in love with your friends when you let them be your partners in life! That saccharine, buy them flowers, talk to them on the phone like you didn’t see them yesterday, text them loving sweet nothings when you are away on a trip, crystallized love that brings you such immense, overwhelming joy; that can come from a non-sexual partner.

{Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_giles/9206946009/in/photostream/}
{Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_giles/9206946009/in/photostream/}

Redefine friend! Redefine lover! Better yet, build your friendships and romances how you want them to look, give them titles to suit their roles, rather than relying on outdated titles embedded with limitation. Maybe I want my platonic life partner to be the person I live with, love and create life plans with and I want my lovers to be allies from all over. Maybe I want to participate in my lover’s domestic family but I want to travel the world on an annual basis and owning a home isn’t practical. Make your life and community look like your wildest dream, and your most satisfying one. We have the potential as a community to create homes and relationships bereft of outdated constructs of love and friendship, so that it can actually start meeting our needs. It all starts with asking, “what do I want?”, “what do I need?” and “how do I make it happen?”

{Image Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/418482990346057725/}
{Image Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/418482990346057725/}

 

I’m not saying that everyone should abandon monogamy, shave their heads and attend sex parties, although my inner teenage boy thinks it would be dope as hell. I’m instead suggesting that to become more happy, fulfilled individuals we need to start examining more closely the way we love and who we surround ourselves with. Each of us non-monogamous-defining snowflakes is different, our relationships and social networks can and should reflect that. But there I go again, should-ing all over the place. Tell me what you think, what would your custom life look like? In what ways have you reconstructed your life and how is it working for you?

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

 

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it Queer: Early Signs You Would Eventually Become… Yourself

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I am a slut for words.I have a bizarre kinky affection for Audre Lorde and Shakespeare.  Finding a word that describes a feeling you’ve had but could never describe, is liking finding out vegan milkshakes exist.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}

Today I was inspired by:

énouement

n. the bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who was still stationed at a forgotten outpost somewhere in the past, still eagerly awaiting news from the front. {http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/}

This word moves me because I have often flirted with the sorrow of not being able to let my 16-year-old-self, know that there is so much more to the world than the isolation and humiliation of public high school (see “monochopsis”). If I had known that the glorious, chaotic, noisy world of city life, queer community, kink, polyamory, and art existed, and with such vibrancy, I can’t even imagine what I would have been capable of then. Which brings me to one of my favorite topics: early signs you should have seen, that you would become yourself.

One of my favorite questions to ask the amazing humans that I work with at the dungeon is, “Growing up, did you see any signs that you would become kinky?” Their answers are never less than fantastic. One dominatrix told me the story of her taking turns “kidnapping” her siblings and tying them up to chairs and blindfolding them. Who knew that she would one day get paid to do that to people? One of the submissives described to me a game she played in highschool with friends that involved competitively smacking each other on the face as punishment for losing the game they called, “rock-paper-scissors-slap.” Just little hints that they would perhaps one day become proud purveyors of kink and sadomasochism.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1GNXUpG}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1GNXUpG}

This question is also fun to adapt to queer communities and alternative lifestyle communities. I often ask, “Did you ever see early indicators that you would be queer or gay?” or “Did you have polyamorous habits as a kid?”  At a party of non-monogamous individuals, I listened to one individual describe that at their preschool they had managed to acquire two boy-friends and one girl-friend and that the little radical collective would gather in the sandbox and make each other mud-cakes to celebrate their group love. They said laughing, “I should have known at that point that I was going to try non-monogamy, and I am still baffled that it took me so long to figure out that I liked men.”

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}

I personally like to laugh at myself, as I answer the question, “Were there early signs that I would identify as genderqueer?” I recall making my college boyfriend dress me in his clothes, brown corduroy trousers, a black band t-shirt and a charcoal grey newspaper boy cap. I looked up at him in the mirror and said, “Oh my god, this is so hot! I make such a sexy boy!” I laughed semi-maniacally and I believe his response was a confused shrug and a chuckle, “sure…um…yeah.” That night I threw on my favorite tight black dress and red lipstick and went to ladies night at Hamburger Mary’s, and thought bitterly, “why do I have to pick.” The beautiful little red flags of gender deviance were flying but I wasn’t ready to wave those bad boys with pride.

Isn’t it queer that there are so many red flag moments, we remain blind to until we are older? Of course now that we identify as who we are, have been through what we have been through, and have a grasp on our identity (or are on the journey to getting that grip),  it’s obvious what those experiences meant. You have to laugh at the fact that  there is no way to go back in time and whisper in your own naive ear, “Bitch you are gay!!!” or some other such revelatory fact. What were your red flags that you would become who are you are today? What moments in your current life do you think might one day be seen as those same beautifully ironic red flags?

With that said, this enouement, that we feel, this sulky regret that we cannot forewarn our past selves of our impending future, can be bittersweet. It can be even sweeter if we remind ourselves that even being able to recognize that we are in progress as a human, or that we have made such substantial leaps forward in developing our identity, shows incredible resilience and emotional fortitude. In the days when we were young (whether your young moment happened when you were four or forty-three), you were absolutely doing the very best you could- to be yourself- with the tools you had available at the time.

Sitting on the precipice of your new life, looking back at a landscape of awkward teenage moments, misunderstandings of self and times you sold yourself short, you can show yourself gratitude for all the learning and growing you had to do to realize those moments were just that. So goddamn it thank yourself!!! And maybe, the next time you find yourself questioning a conventional norm while discovering your preferences, let those flags fly!!! Because you are stars and nothing less, even on your seething days.

Happy Pride my loves!

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Isn’t it Queer?: How to Date Online in the Age of Tinder Queers

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In terms of Okcupid dates, my worst first date stories almost always take the cake, for the simple reason that I date A LOT. I’ve made it a point to take dating seriously, not just because I’d like to invite authentic, healthy connection into my life, but also because it’s like participating in a sociological study. At age 20, I was working in social-justice-arts-collectives, participating as an ally in WOC circles and applying for environmental non-profit jobs and managed to find myself on a first date with an ex-member of the Aryan Brotherhood. The things people leave out of their dating profiles are astounding. Despite my abject horror, my anthropologist heart found the whole fifteen minutes fascinating; he was livid because he had been kicked out of the monstrous gathering when they found out that he was an eighth Honduran. The universe has a brilliant talent for ironic humor. It was my first EVER Okcupid date and he said he was “cuddly,” so I was like, “sure! cuddles are dope.” After six minutes of him railing on “the gays,” “mouthy women,” and “chinks who were too lazy to learn English,” I spent the next nine minutes trying to execute a clean escape without losing any crucial limbs.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Gf7Ze4}

Thank Gay Baby Jesus that since my incident with my bald, bigoted friend, my ability to screen people for dates has improved substantially, but I still maintain that the best approach to dating, online or otherwise, is with a wide-eyed sense of curiosity about people. Genuinely enjoying the process of dating, regardless of the outcome, allows me enough optimism to be open to the right people. Because the reality is, dating is a shit show, especially when you are looking for queer, pronoun savvy poly folks–but good people are out there. In my quest to build my poly army, I have found dozens of amazing queer identifying poly kinksters, but I know that to continue finding these people I have to play a numbers game. In a homophobic, heteronormative, sexist, racist culture, one has to approach dating with tenacity and a steel plated heart. With that said, I hear endless excuses for why my friends do not pursue dating. “It’s too much work having to read through all those profiles,”  “how am I supposed to find a person who isn’t going to be freaked out that I work at a dungeon,” “I don’t think there is anyone remotely not-racist on this fucking site,” “I’m queerer than the light of day but all I get is douchey comments about my ass from cis-straight men.”{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DhWSU3}

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DhWSU3}

Yeah. I hear ya. It’s not simple or easy by any means. It’s not untrue that the internet and local bar are abundant with fuck-heads but in order to surpass fuck-headery to genuine connection, you have to meet with a fuck-head or two. If you think about it statistically, if you are a trans, polyamorous, kinky, person of color and you’ve tried Okcupid or Tinder, that means other beautiful humans such as yourself have too and despite what you may think, there are so many others out there! It’s just a matter of putting yourself out there so you can find them.

I attribute my success in finding good people to several things: improving my screening process, going on excessive amounts of dates, having a brutally honest depiction of myself on my profile, and having a library of knowledge about people’s red flags and how to respond when you see those bad boys flying. Going on dates frequently isn’t about the way you look or how much money you have (although in Los Angeles I acknowledge fully that it’s a factor), if you are an authentic queer (poly/trans/kinky/poc/non-binary) human, you are inherently valuable to some other authentic queer (poly/trans/kinky/poc/non-binary) human, swiping daily will help you find that other authentic human. So send that first message!!! Grow some ovaries or kidneys or something and tell them what you like about them. Sending the first message is more important than eating a healthy breakfast…I guess…if you value your sex life before your health, which you shouldn’t, but I’ve become side-tracked. Anyway… queer dating and shit. I should also mention that freaking out about people not responding to your messages is extremely counter-productive. It’s not really your business why they didn’t respond to you. Maybe they just had their heart broken and your gorgeous fro-hawk reminds them of their ex, or they think your bro hat is stupid, or they think The Shining is a stupid favorite movie. Hold out for the people that see your profile and light up like a glow worm. The more profiles you read and the more messages you send, the more people you will find who respond in just that way. Also, it really helps to have good pictures of yourself. Blurry, grainy pictures–even if you’re literally on the eiffel tower–don’t sell yourself well. At the wrong angle, everyone has a double chin. MySpace the shit out of your Tinder and find your good angles. Tyra Banks actually has some decent advice on that but I can’t stand her, so you are welcome to check that out if you think you can handle it.

In terms of finding red flags, that really comes down to knowing what you are looking for, what kind of people you surround yourself with and why. If it is absolutely a deal breaker for you that a person is a smoker, don’t be afraid to put it in your profile. Why waste time on dates with people you know you won’t be able to tolerate? If you’re a fierce advocate for marginalized communities, ignore messages from people who don’t make any mention of their participation in community activism in their profile.{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1N2tLre}

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1N2tLre}

I have a friend at the dungeon who is KBR, or kinky beyond recognition, and she complained to me that she liked the woman she went on a date with, but she was,“so boring and vanilla.” At which point I asked her, “Did she mention being kinky in her profile? So why did you go on a date with her?” She confessed to fearing that she would never find a partner who not only liked her for who she was, but who had similar interests. So she felt she had to settle in order to find connection or sex.  I think at a certain point we all sell ourselves short because we are afraid that our people are not out there. I’m not suggesting that every one of your hook-ups has to be into the same meditation practices as you or that you can only fuck other vegans. You do you boo. But it is important to remember that your people are out there and they will love you for you who are, kinks and knots and bruises included. The more voraciously you pursue finding your people, the quicker you will. If my ungodly amount of awkward, joyful, inspiring, fear inducing and straight up weird dates has taught me anything, it’s that every single kind of human imaginable exists and they are all looking for love and intimacy.

A bit of healthy introspection goes a long way in these situations. What personality traits do you value in other people? What are your biggest pet peeves? If it absolutely destroys you when people mess up your pronouns, maybe it can be your rule not to message people that don’t mention having an understanding of gender identity in their profile. How do you show love and what kind of love-showing do you respond well to? Then put that shit up for review, tell people exactly who you are and what you are looking for and only respond to people that are looking for things that align with your values.

These things of course, all come with practice. Real talk: I use dating apps on my phone as a way to procrastinate from doing other things I really should be doing. It’s productive in a sick sort of way but it certainly guarantees a more interesting selection of humans to spend my time with. The amazing part of being the unique human that you’ve become, is that you learned everything you know by experience. If you want to cultivate a healthy sex life, jump in gender neutral genitals first. Online dating and/or picking up other humans with the hope of real conversation and possible connection at bars is absolutely a shit show, but if nothing else, it’ll give you great stories.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Isn’t It Queer: The Beauty of Personal Transformation

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I start off by drowning my morning in coffee and cigarettes, breakfast of champions, I know. I then proceed to deodorize my person and brave LA traffic to the dojo. I put on a thick black canvass karate uniform and make sure I’ve taken out all of my piercing jewelry, so that in the process of teaching a child how to poke someone’s eyes out, their little baby hairs don’t snag on my industrial bar. I put up my slick tuft of hair into a tiny man bun and make sure no red greasy wisps are sticking to the shaved sides of my rowdy head. In this moment I am Cory, confusingly androgynous karate teacher. Add some form of protein and a handful of nuts, and several karate lessons later, I’m de-ninja’ed and back on the road to the dungeon. Upon my arrival I’m greeted by an army of beautiful humans in lingerie. On go the thigh high black stocking, my blunt banged, black bob wig, blush, heels, mascara, faux leather collar, some over-sexualized costume (yes….you can be a sexy clown) and BOOM, I’m Submissive Simone. From Cory to Simone in twenty minutes. That’s one hell of a double shift, huh?

I’ve had several friends ask if it frustrated me that I have to dress in such traditionally feminine attire for work, as an androgynously identifying individual. I always remind them that I’ve been actively gender-bending and doing “femme” to “butch” and back again since I learned that both presentations were options. Fuck. If it’s all socially constructed why would I feel obligated to pick? As a second-grader, I remember being super excited when I misheard the lyrics of the Eve 6 song as, “I want to put my gender, hard in a blender…” What a thrilling concept! Some of us are born to bend, what can I say (that’s when I would throw a fuchsia feather boa over my left shoulder and walk away theatrically, WITHOUT tripping on my heels.) Frankly, I find the transition between gender presentations thrilling and empowering. Nothing thrills me more than gender piracy, except for really amazing haircuts, which is tangential.

So gender conformists, outlaws and benders, for your viewing pleasure, I present you with non-binary artists and celebrities and their cornucopia of gender presentations:

Del La Grace Volcano: Herm/Herm’s

 

As a gender variant visual artist I access ‘technologies of gender’ in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist.”

 

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JnnTIV}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JnnTIV}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Fq6ut6}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Fq6ut6}

Rain Dove: She/Her, He/Him, They/Them

A model for both male and female lines of clothing.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1dJz8jm}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1dJz8jm}
{Image Credit: http://huff.to/19Ygbq8}
{Image Credit: http://huff.to/19Ygbq8}

Angel Haze: They/Them

A musical artist who described themselves as being “agender” on twitter.

“Love is boundary less.”

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Fq7KfO}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Fq7KfO}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1G2sFdE}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1G2sFdE}

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

Isn’t It Queer: Bisexual/Queer Invisibility

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Sometimes I feel like I am not gay enough. No seriously. If you read this blog regularly then that might be a laughable statement, because to those who know me I’m unicorns bathing in rainbow glitter. There have been times though when I’ve entered a new community and I’ve been treated as if I’m not gay enough for groups populated heavily with lesbian or gay identified individuals, and not straight enough for groups of people who identify as heterosexual. I identify as queer, what that means for me is that I am about as pansexual as they come. My preference in sexual and romantic partners includes trans individuals, butch lesbians, cis-men, and really everything in between. My attraction comes from some chemical reaction deep in my brain (…or is it nether regions?) that I have yet to correlate with people’s particular gender identity or sexual orientation. As such, I feel like I didn’t jump far enough on the gay train for a lot of lesbian identified individuals or gay men, and the perpetual shock I receive when I identify as not being heterosexual at said hetero-gatherings, is at very least annoying. Which is why I want to talk about bisexual/queer invisibility.

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{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1QcVOUV}

So, have you ever had this experience: Upon attending a snuggle party (yep, a snuggle party, all the rage in poly communities, apparently) and after canoodling with 5 or 6 different women, found out that everyone of them identified as straight? Whoa…really? All of you? And more entertainingly, you get this little gem, “Oh what?! You’re gay? It’s totally cool, I just had no idea.” Ummmm thanks woman I just made out with. I apologize, did I project queerness on this party? If all this het on het action is just a progressive manifestation of polyamorous living, why aren’t all the het men making out too? My confusion abounds. I’ve had the same experience at LGBT gatherings, where people met my comments about my hetero cis-male hook-ups with a sort of resistance, or even offense. I’ve even been told that eventually I would abandon the practice with time, which suggests that I might age out of my current sexual orientation once I abandon naive thinking. Rude.

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{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1AAk9lJ}

 

At 26 I don’t claim to have learned everything there is to know about my identity, fortunately, I have a plethora of time to explore. For anyone to suggest that after 26 years of flirting, dating, falling in love, and cultivating my identity, that you, person who has known me for a grand total of 18 minutes during an awkward small talk over a bag of cheetos, knows that I will eventually fall into one of the archetypes of more or less accepted sexual orientations in the U.S., is utter fucking non-sense. If I sound bitter-cakes, it’s ’cause I am. It’s not to say I haven’t been immersed in incredible communities of people that love me for who I am and celebrate my unicorn like uniqueness, because I absolutely do, glitter baths and all. One of my wise cohorts actually advises me to use these reactions as a test of whether a person can be a supportive force in my life and good ally. Simultaneously, the abundance of black and white thinking surrounding matters of sexuality, orientation and gender identity is still mind numbing. If we are progressive enough as a poly community to recognize that love is not defined by ownership or celibacy outside of one partner, how is it not an intuitive line of thinking to approach sexual orientation as not being gay or straight? If as LGBTQ individuals we have been endlessly poked and prodded with repudiation regarding our counter-culture, non-hetero preferences, how are we then so quick to repudiate other individuals who do not fit the gay-straight, masculine-feminine binaries?

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{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1FcOqTa}

 

Although I am lacking an artillery of brilliant solutions to the on-going binary mindset problem that we are facing, I am pleasantly suggesting that a more fluid approach to orientation and gender identity in conversations with prospective friends or community members is absolutely necessary to becoming more inclusive as a community. I’m not suggesting that there is an easy solution to this on-going systematic misunderstanding of the spectrum of sexual orientations that exist in human beings, but putting aside judgment when faced with an unfamiliar situation is a good start. Instead of “What…you’re gay?” or “Eww, you fuck straight men?” how about asking a follow up question like, “Oh cool, do you have a partner?” or “Nice, is he good in bed?” I don’t claim to be an expert, but coming from a place of judgment generally tends to isolate people. Bitter-cakes out.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Isn’t It Queer?: Finding Our People

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Have you ever run headfirst into your people? After unconsciously shielding and censoring your speech for people who you didn’t feel safe around, after dressing yourself down or “less loud” to avoid being asked ignorant questions, or for some of us, wondering if we “pass” with anxious tension, there they are, like a big fucking rainbow cake. Like a gay fairy tale, you walk into a family of incredible humans that accept you in all your queerness and polyness and with all of your kinks AND they are so fucking queer (and poly! and kinky!) you can barely handle it AND these magical bastards think that every word of passionate discussion on gender politics you utter is the sexiest thing they’ve ever heard. WTF. You people exist? You mean you’ve been here the whole time?! Oh Los Angeles how you spurn me! Theatrics aside, the experience reminded me of a conversation I’d had recently with a dear friend.

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My incredible, life changing, ally, Lyneonme, once described the bittersweet experience of having visited Brooklyn for the first time. She grew up as one of the only black women in her neighborhood and at the schools she attended. She said that it was the first time she felt like she didn’t stand out for just walking down the street, almost baffled that she wasn’t being tokenized, and also one of the first times that she lacked the constant haunting isolation of being the sole black face in a community, as she went about her daily business. This is when she introduced me to the concept of “finding your people” and how important it was for her personal growth, to surround herself with a healthy community of people who identified with experiences she’d had. Her words stayed with me as I visited Oakland on my recent road trip.

Everyday I was introduced to a series of incredible individuals who could discuss gender politics, trans politics, and sex workers rights, and each conversation left me feeling more and more affirmed and confident in my identity and in my life choices. I saw personal style that reflected mine. I met a variety of polyamorous folks and was absolutely enamored with their ability to give each other real constructive feed back and validation during challenging life events. The experience was powerful and transcendent and to be honest, it initially left me bittersweet, like Lyneonme described.

It made me resent Los Angeles for it’s materialism and vanity, and especially for it’s fragmented queer communities. If Oakland has families of poly, kinky, and queer folks, Los Angeles has a series of estranged cousins, who are missing the shit out of one another. Jealous and bitter, check…but once I set aside my catholic (possibly genetic) martyr complex, the experience left me overjoyed that such supportive, inclusive communities existed. It also left me pondering a few questions regarding community building.

If I were to move north in hopes of building a chosen family in the Bay Area, would I be abandoning the growth I am making in Los Angeles by facing adversity? Would I be robbing myself and Los Angeles of the possibility of building community and creating my own chosen family here. Fighting to build a kinky, poly, queer friend circle in L.A. would then provide a space for others who are feeling isolated, to feel affirmed. We all deserve a chance to be held in the arms of a community that provides nurturing and safety, that is obvious. Not to mention, through the process of searching for affirming alternative lifestyle comrades in So-cal, I have built a small family of incredible allies of different backgrounds, who have educated me on the struggles of other marginalized communities. I also know that these allies have supported me and loved me for who I am, in every phase of my growth and when they didn’t have the information they needed to affirm my life choices or gender identity, they had genuine curiosity and open arms to learning that information. I’ve heard great activists say, “You can’t build a movement if you move” and I’ve also heard great activists say, “Surround yourself with your people,” The question remains then, what is the importance of settling into a city and building community and alternately what is the impact of moving? You tell me bold spirit.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

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**ATTENTION QUEER,  KINKY, POLY FAMILY** COM|PASSionate REVOLT will be at the Contemporary Relationships Conference in Austin, TX on May 15 + 16, 2015 doing a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Consent Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.